How to cut a template / LONG and Short Version
There isn't allot I can do until I reach the 10 posts so here goes.
If you want the SUPER SHORT version, go to last sentence please.
Hello everyone, this is going to be like more other noobs type post so I hope y'all are ready for a question you know in your sleep. Grin...
I'm somewhat new to woodworking. I have been making sawdust for a few years but have never really gotten into using a router.
I've been told I'm missing out and that a router is one of the best tools other than a table saw, so I'm now I'm working on a project that seems I might be tested.
This is LONG but it is as DETAILED as I can so you will know exactly what's going on, and maybe even help some other newbie from making my mistakes.
I have a 1/8 template made of aluminum. Not sure what kind it was given to me to use but I was told it was kinda expensive. I DO NOT want to mess it up.
The template is a circle with a Star like design inside the circle and 5 or 6 smaller stars on the outside of the larger one, but all are still within the circle.
The overall circumference is about 22".
I need to REMOVE the fields of all the stars. None of the stars are connected so when I cut out a star, it falls to the ground and that's that.
As I said above the template is aluminum and somewhat costly so messing it up isn't something I want to do , so my first thought was to make a hardboard template of the aluminum template, and use it.
I bought a 4x8 sheet of hardboard, took it tot he table saw and cut it into 8 - 2x2 squares.
Got some double stick tape, mounted to aluminum template on one of the hardboard squares and went to my router table. ( It's not a REAL router table just a box I made and mounted the router in upside down. )
I was thinking that sense I have a template all I needed to do was run a router along the edge of the template and the new hardboard template would be good.
I KNOW if I took a regular straight cut router bit, I would stand the HIGH POSSIBILITY of cutting into the aluminum template. So I thought that a flush cut bit with a bearing was the answer. Went to the local home store picked up a top bearing mounter flush cut bit, AND a bottom mounted flush cut bit ( just in case )
I don't have a height adjustment on my " router table " so I eyeballed it, and was on the money. The first bit I tried was the top bearing one. I didn't have a way to introduce it INTO the big stars or the little ones, so I to a drill with a paddle bit and made a hole in each of the stars.
So now I have a 1/8 inch square hard board, mounted with double sided tape to a 1/8 inch aluminum circle with one big star and several smaller stars, all the stars have a hole in them.
Because I was using a table and really new to this, I needed to see the patter I was cutting out so I placed the work down on my table with the HARDBOARD on the table, aluminum on top, turned on the vacuum , then the router and away I went.
I WAS able to get the larger star cut out. I was able to get a couple of the smaller stars cut out.
My vacuum turned off by itself, so I stopped. I opened it up and saw the filter was clogged , pulled it out and somewhat cleaned it up, put back in in, tested it and I was ready again.
Started where I left off and as I was routing I saw a spark. Stopped of course and saw that the bearing had dropped. I couldn't find the set screw so I was done.
I was going to use the other bit but didn't want to re-do the setup.
Went to the home store exchanged the bit for the top bearing flush cut went back and finished up.
I now had the original template and a hardboard one.
I wanted more area for the bearing to ride along so I started making another one.
Did the same set up using the ALUMINUM template so I could have two hardboard templates that I could glue together.
I got through the second one and was somewhat OK, but even with the two hardboard pieces together that was still only 1/4 area, SO, I got a piece of 3/4 plywood, mounted the ALUMINUM template on it, and was off again drilling holes.
I started this plywood template, and the vacuum stopped. I pulled off the filter, emptied out the shop vac, and went to test it.
Click , , , Click , , , Click...
Yep, that was that I think for the shop vac. I just get a clicking noise.
I figured I could just push through the sawdust with a dust mask and be ok.
As I was routing , I heard something odd, stopped and saw that the bearing on this one ( the second flush cut top bearing mounted bit, had slipped down and I cut into the PLYWOOD along the edge about 1/16 or maybe even an 1/8 of an inch.
So I know this plywood template can't be used and that's OK, because the aluminum , template is still OK.
So all of that has led up to this : Am I using the flushcut top bearing bit correctly
Is there a better way to remove the center of a template ( cut a pre designed hole using a template ) If so PLEASE direct me.
The very short version, How do I use a template , with a homemade router table. What bit do I use ?
Thank You for getting this far !